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Crime & Courts

Bond denied for man charged in armed robbery of Wheaton cell phone store

Bond was denied Nov. 12 for a Calumet City man accused of stealing approximately $40,000 worth of merchandise from a Wheaton Sprint store.

Denzel Furance, 20, of 1900 Wilson Avenue, appeared at a bond hearing where DuPage County Judge Jeffrey MacKay ordered him to be held without bond.

Furance has been charged with one count of armed robbery and three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.

At approximately 8:08 p.m. on Nov. 8, Wheaton police responded to a call of an armed robbery at the Sprint store located at 212 Danada Square West.

Police began an investigation and learned that at approximately 7:45 p.m. a man, later identified as Furance, allegedly entered the store armed with a semi-automatic weapon and wearing a mask, medical gloves and a hooded sweatshirt, the release stated.

Furance allegedly ordered two employees at gunpoint to a back storage room where a third employee was located along with products and the store safe. He ordered one of the victims at gunpoint to bind the wrists and ankles of the other two employees with duct tape. He then bound the wrists and ankles of the third victim with duct tape, according to the release.

Furance ordered the employees to open the safe containing electronic devices and placed approximately 58 items from the store into garbage bags he had brought with him. He covered the mouths and eyes of the three employees with duct tape and exited the store, inadvertently dropping some items on his way out, the release stated.

Several minutes later, Furance returned to the store to retrieve the items he had previously dropped and then fled the scene. The investigation led police to Furance, who was arrested in south suburban Lansing on Nov. 11.

“It is alleged that Mr. Furance armed himself, disguised his identity and terrorized three individuals just trying to make an honest living,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “With the holiday season fast approaching, we will do whatever we can to keep store employees and shoppers safe and anyone suspected of this type of brazen behavior will be met with the full force and effect of the law.”

“Through the outstanding police work of the Wheaton Police Department, with assistance from the Lansing and Calumet City police departments, Mr. Furance was identified, apprehended and will face a significant amount of time behind bars if found guilty,” Berlin added.

“I am extremely proud of the dedication and professionalism displayed by our officers, detectives and supervisors,” Wheaton Chief of Police Bill Murphy said. “They understood the severity of the crime and the ongoing risk the suspect posed to the public. Their diligence and dedication allowed us to bring a swift resolution to this incident thus ensuring the safety of our community. Three people were allegedly terrorized by Mr. Furance and he will now answer for those crimes. We are thankful for those agencies and entities who assisted us with this investigation.”

The most serious charge Furance faces, armed robbery, is non-probationable and punishable by a minimum of six and a maximum of 30 years in the prison. Because it is alleged that Furance was armed with a gun, if found guilty, he faces an automatic 15-year enhancement to his sentence, which will be served at 85 percent, the release stated.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 5 for arraignment.

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